Brighton had been the "other" team in a Class 5A final four, replete with championship bloodlines. Three perennial powers — Jordan, Bingham, Lone Peak — each with a championship in the past three years. Oh, and Brighton.
But the Bengals looked as though they were the team accustomed to playing late into November with a dominant 44-20 semifinal victory against defending champion Jordan on Friday evening.
O Brighton racks up 506 yards of offense and bounces the defending Class 5A champion.
» Jordan’s Austen Kafentzis rushes for two late touchdowns, but struggles in the passing game (15 of 38).
» Judge Memorial vs. Manti at Weber State University, 11 a.m.
» Duchesne vs. Rich at Weber State University, 1:30 p.m.
Grand County vs. South Summit at Weber State University, 4 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 22
East vs. Timpview at Rice-Eccles Stadium, 11 a.m., KJZZ
» Brighton vs. Bingham at Rice-Eccles Stadium, 2:30 p.m., KJZZ
Pine View vs. Desert Hills at Rice-Eccles Stadium, 6:30 p.m., KJZZ
"We were not caught up in the big lights, the turf, everything," said Brighton running back Osa Masina, who scored three touchdowns. "We just needed to keep playing how we’ve been playing, keep our composure and play Brighton football."
The big stage hardly rattled the Bengals, who reached the state title game for the first time since 2005 and are on the doorstep of their first championship since 1982.
"I was excited for the kids," Brighton coach Ryan Bullett said. "I said, ‘Walk into the stadium, walk around, rub your cleats on the turf and then that’s it. We’re playing football.’ You know, it’s turf and it’s 100 yards long. Just play."
Brighton beat the Beatdiggers (7-6) for the second time in five weeks with a pounding running game led by Masina. The junior rushed for 201 yards on 28 carries, and the Bengals (12-1) racked up 308 yards on the ground.
Jordan quarterback Austin Kafentzis completed just 2 of 12 passes in the first half and finished 15 of 38 for 188 yards and a touchdown. The junior repeatedly threw high and behind receivers in his fifth game on the Rice-Eccles turf. Jordan, which averaged more than 60 points in its previous three games, had just one touchdown until early in the fourth quarter.
"We’re trying to keep them in front of us and keep them out of the end zone," Bullett said. "We have to hold onto the ball and keep the ball out of Jordan’s hands. ... We needed to stop their momentum, and I think that’s what we were doing, and I think that’s what we accomplished."
Jordan’s already struggling offense took a massive hit midway through the third quarter when it lost two of its top players on consecutive plays.
Running back Clay Moss and receiver Mason Kreuger were helped off the field with left leg injuries and didn’t return.
Bengals quarterback Robbie Hutchins directed an efficient offense that amassed 506 total yards, and Brighton became the fifth team to score 40 points or more against Jordan this season.
"It’s great, I’m glad I have another week with my guys," Hutchins said. "There’s just a lot of emotions."
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